Carving jack-o-lanterns out of the biggest pumpkins we can find is an autumn family tradition in my household. This year, for the first time, we even picked our own pumpkins straight off the vine in a pumpkin patch! New Hampshire really does have the best pumpkin patches, apple orchards, and picturesque foliage this time of year.
While we were satisfied with the 132 pounds (omg, 132 pounds) of perfect, bright orange pumpkins, I also wanted to bring some of the California vibe from back home to New England. Luckily for me, my mom was visiting us during the best time of year, and she came prepared to craft.
We embarked on a mission to gather plump white pumpkins, dried moss, and succulents from a local greenhouse to assemble into Living Succulent Pumpkins for my living room, to complement all the other greenery that has been moved indoors for the winter from our porch. While the selection of succulents available in fall in New England can't compare to California, we managed to find a healthy bunch and headed home.
To start the assembly process, we removed the stems to create a flatter surface, and then hot-glued a thick layer of dried moss on the top of each pumpkin. The moss provides texture for the hot glue to cling to when attaching the succulents next, and also helps hides any gaps in the plants.
We trimmed our various baby succulents with sharp scissors and chose a large rosette to use as the central piece atop each pumpkin. Removing leaves from the bottom of the cutting one by one allowed us to expose the stem for about an inch. We then applied a line of hot glue along the rosette's stem, careful not to place glue over the very end of the stem. This will help keep the plant alive longer.
Once the central rosette was firmly attached to the moss, we then glued on the other succulents around it, starting with the tallest trimmings. We continued to fill in the tops of the pumpkins with succulents of various shapes and sizes until there were no obvious gaps.
After removing all pesky hot glue strings, the pumpkins were complete. I love how they turned out! The green looks gorgeous against the white of the pumpkins, and they'll brighten up any room for months to come. They are easily cared for, needing only a spritz of water to wet their leaves using a spray bottle or atomizer when they are dry.
As a bonus, the succulents may grow when potted after the pumpkin becomes squishy, but I haven't tried this yet to verify! Cutting the pumpkin in half width-wise then placing the top with the succulents in soil will allow the succulents to root and grow larger. I'll update this post in spring with my results.
We also created tiny pumpkin nests while we had our supplies out using the same techniques. We hot-glued a thick layer of dried moss onto small wreaths, then gently placed the smallest pumpkins we could find on top! Easy and so cute.
Please let me know if you try this craft this autumn - I would love to see your results! My mom used this design to create centerpieces for my brother's wedding last fall as well, and they looked so beautiful. These would be perfect for receptions, bridal showers, engagement parties, or any other autumn-themed get-together.
Follow me on Instagram & TikTok to see quick videos of the crafts I make! @_environerd